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Mon Mar 8, 2021, 01:15 PM

Supreme Court sides with Christian students silenced on Georgia campus

Source: ABC News

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sided with a former Georgia college student who sued his school after it prevented him from expressing religious views in a free-speech zone on campus.

The 8-1 decision, authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, said that Chike Uzuegbunam -- who was silenced by Georgia Gwinnett College officials even after he had obtained a permit to proselytize and handout religious literature -- can seek nominal damages despite the fact that the school ultimately changed course and Uzuegbunam subsequently graduated.

In a very rare alignment of votes, Chief Justice John Roberts was the lone dissenting justice in the case.

"It is undisputed that Uzuegbunam experienced a completed violation of his constitutional rights when respondents enforced their speech policies against him," wrote Justice Thomas. "Because 'every violation [of a right] imports damage,' nominal damages can redress Uzuegbunam’s injury even if he cannot or chooses not to quantify that harm in economic terms."

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/supreme-court-sides-christian-students-silenced-georgia-campus/story?id=76320592

17 replies, 2508 views

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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply Supreme Court sides with Christian students silenced on Georgia campus (Original post)
Jose Garcia Mar 8 OP
PoliticAverse Mar 8 #1
GregariousGroundhog Mar 8 #4
muriel_volestrangler Mar 8 #5
SharonClark Mar 8 #2
Calista241 Mar 8 #9
littlemissmartypants Mar 9 #16
rgbecker Mar 8 #3
Polybius Mar 8 #6
Midnight Writer Mar 8 #10
Polybius Mar 8 #12
BumRushDaShow Mar 8 #7
Yeehah Mar 8 #11
Crash2Parties Mar 8 #8
Beastly Boy Mar 8 #13
Martin68 Mar 8 #15
Lokilooney Mar 9 #17
Martin68 Mar 8 #14

Response to Jose Garcia (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 01:17 PM

1. So Roberts dissent was simply that "the case is therefore moot". n/t

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 01:44 PM

4. This case seems bizarre to me

From what I make of it, the plaintiff sued, asking the courts to void the university's policy and something along the lines of $1 in nominal damages. The university then changed it's policy after deciding that it either wasn't defensible and/or worth defending. The University then asked the courts to dismiss the case as moot, but the plaintiff continued to petition for nominal damages.

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Response to GregariousGroundhog (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 01:49 PM

5. As a Supreme Court decision, I suppose this sets a precedent

which the plaintiffs would like to be applicable elsewhere.

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Response to Jose Garcia (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 01:28 PM

2. It's a meaningless win for the so-called Alliance Defending Freedom

but as a person intrigued by word and name origins, I do like the names in the case: Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski.

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Response to SharonClark (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 02:49 PM

9. It's not meaningless. The Supreme Court has ruled that students can profess their religious views

publicly on campus. This particular guy is a fairly normal Christian. This activity now carries the weight of a Supreme Court decision behind it.

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Response to SharonClark (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 12:40 AM

16. Hahaha, me too.

Although I am interested in the case and the law, my first reaction to the article was to research the names.

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Response to Jose Garcia (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 01:58 PM

6. I believe this is the first time Roberts ever was the lone vote

Why would he vote this way?

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Response to Polybius (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 02:57 PM

10. I suspect Roberts would like to temper the zealousness of his conservative members by

not coming down on one side or another any more than he has to.

He is worried that the Court that will bear his name in history books will be remembered for its nutty extremist tilt.

I expect to see a lot of ambiguous votes by the Chief Justice, declining GOP agenda cases and avoiding setting precedents where he can.

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Response to Midnight Writer (Reply #10)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 04:31 PM

12. Yeah, but in this case he even voted against the most liberal Justices

He didn't side with the liberals or conservatives. Unless he wants to be totally impartial and say "see, I'm fair and am completely independent from both sides."

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Response to Jose Garcia (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 02:13 PM

7. "The 8-1 decision, authored by Justice Clarence Thomas"

Somebody actually made him (or perhaps someone clerking under him) write something more than his usual "1-pagers".

(I counted and it's actually 11 1/2 pages long so for him )

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #7)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 03:01 PM

11. The clerks wrote it

Thomas is too stupid and lazy to write a single paragraph.
This is the DU member formerly known as Yeehah.

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Response to Jose Garcia (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 02:29 PM

8. Based on their prior actions how did he still have standing if he'd graduated?

Asking only half sarcastically, based on recent cases they've dismissed that would've increased rights for LGBT students.

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Response to Crash2Parties (Reply #8)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 06:23 PM

13. A MAJOR defeat to the Christian-centric push for more prominence. Cleverly disguised as a victory.

The precedent that SCOTUS had established in their decision will make it possible for any religious dogma to be proscelitized in public spaces of any university.

Think Muslims speaking freely about Islam on the campus of Fallwell's Liberty University.

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Response to Beastly Boy (Reply #13)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 06:26 PM

15. Does Liberty University have a "free speech zone?"

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Response to Beastly Boy (Reply #13)

Tue Mar 9, 2021, 01:01 AM

17. Nope

Liberty University is private, Georgia Gwinnett College is public, those are two different worlds, for instance Trump has learned the hard way he has no 1st amendment rights in the private sector. When you start to take taxpayer money then the constitution starts to come into play although in the case of universities it can sometimes be a bit...squishy.

As to Roberts dissent, perhaps he has a point in not setting precedence for the courts to get bogged down in such gray areas in which quibbling over a buck is concerned.

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Response to Jose Garcia (Original post)

Mon Mar 8, 2021, 06:25 PM

14. I would have liked to learn more about the case. What are the parameters of the "free speech zone."

What was the point of view the student expressed? What reasons dd the school give to explain their silencing of him?

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